Len Stevenson, a leading figure in Norwich politics over three decades has died, aged 86.Mr Stevenson was leader of the controlling Labour group of Norwich City Council for five years.
Len Stevenson, a leading figure in Norwich politics over three decades has died, aged 86.
Mr Stevenson was leader of the controlling Labour group of Norwich City Council for five years. He also served as Lord Mayor and Sheriff of Norwich, and as Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk.
In 1953 he stood, unsuccessfully, as a Communist candidate in Earlham ward. He joined Labour and became a councillor in Norwich in 1959, serving in Lakenham, where he was born, Thorpe and Mancroft wards.
He chaired the authority's planning, housing and property committees, as well as the Norwich Preservation Trust, the advisory committee for the development of industry and the Bowthorpe committee, set up to look into Bowthorpe's housing.
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He became leader of the council in 1978, succeeding Sir Arthur South, serving until 1983.
Mr Stevenson served as a member of other committees and organisations and was an active member of USDAW (the Union of Shop, Administrative and Allied Workers).
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He worked as office manager for Norwich house furnisher Taskers, retiring in 1982.
Mr Stevenson was deputy Lord Mayor from 1964-65 and also served on the county council.
In 1983/4, after stepping down as council leader, he served as Lord Mayor.
His term in office was punctuated by controversy. He boycotted a civic visit to the new Bupa hospital at Colney because of his opposition to private medicine and NHS cuts, and delivered a petition to Downing Street protesting against rate-capping legislation.
He leaves a widow, Barbara, two children Anya and Julian, and four grandchildren.
Mr and Mrs Stevenson met at Norwich's Kier Hardie Hall and married in 1941, celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary last year.
His funeral service was held yesterday at Earlham Crematorium.